My little sister decided one year that she wanted to grow grapes in our yard. She did a lot of work on her own and it was later discovered that she fertilized the grape starts that she had planted too heavily. After being informed of the mistake, she decided that she killed the plants and there was no point trying to save them. Being on the side of the house where no one goes, there are no windows or doors on that side, the grape plants were forgotten. The only passersby were my younger brothers as they mowed the lawn, more concerned with getting the job done quickly than observing the growth of a non-grass plant. So it was years later when the plant was discovered to be producing grapes.
There have been many instances when I have considered something as good as gone, but then discovered opportunities and benefits I didn’t see coming. Those are generally quite enjoyable surprises. Like finding the money that you tucked away safely and then forgot about. These are moments in which I am grateful that I am not in complete control of everything in my life.
Some of the unexpected fruits in my life recently have been job opportunities that have fallen in my lap. Because of references from people I know, or maybe a brave moment on my part, and sometimes simply from being in the right place at the right time. Most of what I am doing right now wasn’t in my plan at all. Another example happened to me this week. I spent a year and a half in south Texas and learned Spanish, I don’t have as much opportunity to practice now I’m at home, but I still try to keep practicing a bit. A few days ago I was in the right place at the right time to help a few people who spoke Spanish and very little English, when there wasn’t anyone else that could’ve.
We can have benefits pop up from something we did years ago, or even things we didn’t do. My sister didn’t rip up the grape plants she was sure she had fried from over-fertilizing, and as a result we have grapes growing on the side of our house. But I can’t help but wonder what would’ve happened if she had kept checking on her grape vines and tried to help them along regardless of damage she might’ve caused. Or if I had studied a little extra Spanish like I had thought of weeks before but never gotten to. The results may have been exactly the same, not much better but still good.
Obviously, unexpected fruits aren’t something you plan on. But I think there are things we could do to encourage the fruit a little bit. When we are a little more diligent or wiser in what we do we can increase the good, that at some point, may pop up. While I have had some great things fall in my lap that I was ready for, there have been missed opportunities that passed me by because I wasn’t ready for them. I am so grateful for the wonderful blessings that surprise me, and because of them, I want to be more diligent in what I do to be prepared for the other blessings that decide to present themselves.